Volkswagen of America announced today the launch of a new advertising and marketing campaign called DAS AUTO, literally translated to “the car.” Part of a global brand platform, DAS AUTO will build on Volkswagen’s unique place in pop culture through its message of It’s What the People Want.
The campaign, which launches today, will introduce the world to Max, an iconic, quirky, talking 1964 black Beetle. DAS AUTO kicks off with an extensive targeted television, print and online advertising effort, as well as integration into social media channels. In each spot, Max has candid conversations with notable figures from pop culture in a talk show setting.
The discussions focus on Volkswagen’s intuition on what it is the people want. Guests include supermodel Heidi Klum, pop and TV personality David Hasselhoff, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy, NASA astronaut Richard Searfoss, music-sharing innovator Shawn Fanning and former basketball coach Bob Knight.
“Volkswagen has always occupied a unique and positive place in both American car culture and American popular culture. And the brand is as relevant today as it has ever been,” said Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing at Volkswagen of America. “Max personifies Volkswagen’s past, present and vision for the future. Through him, we will reconnect with American consumers and let them know how Volkswagen understands and responds to what the people want.”
The American public will first meet the campaign brand icon, Max, in a series of teaser ads in major market daily newspapers that will seed him and introduce his knowledge of what the people want. To complement the print ads, an interactive polling program will simultaneously rollout on vw.com. A collection of thirty-second television spots will follow throughout the month of April.
DAS AUTO and Max will be integrated directly into all aspects of the company’s business in 2008, including support for five new model launches – the Tiguan compact SUV, Routan minivan, CC, clean diesel Jetta TDI and Jetta SportsWagen – and the existing lineup. Max will be the centerpiece in the introductory phase and then will take a backseat to form the connective tissue for all other product communications. The campaign is the first under the new direction of Tim Ellis, who took the helm in January.
“DAS AUTO builds upon our unique position as one of the world’s leading and most culturally-relevant automakers,” added Ellis. “Through DAS AUTO, we are reaffirming the brand’s commitment to bring innovative, responsible and value-driven auto-making to the people.”
Already this year, Volkswagen has delivered what the people want through its products and recent announcements.